Simpson Thacher, Skadden, Shiff Hardin: Business of Law

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP represents KKR & Co., the private-equity firm run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, which agreed to buy industrial equipment maker Gardner Denver Inc. for about $3.7 billion after raising its offer. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP is advising Gardner Denver.

The Simpson Thacher team on this deal includes Sean Rodgers, Andy Calder, mergers and acquisitions; James Cross, credit; Richard Fenyes, capital markets; Joe Tringali, David Vann, antitrust; Andrea Wahlquist, executive compensation and employee benefits; and Nancy Mehlman, tax.

The Skadden team includes New York partners Stephen Arcano and Richard Grossman, mergers and acquisitions; Neil Leff, executive compensation and benefits; and David Rievman, tax.

KKR will pay $76 a share for Wayne, Pennsylvania-based Gardner Denver, the companies said March 8 in a statement. That’s a 39 percent premium to the price on Oct. 24, the day before the company announced it was exploring a sale. KKR last month offered $75 a share, Bloomberg News reported Feb. 21.

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Firm News

Nelson Mullins Hires Education Team of Lawyers in Atlanta

A team of seven attorneys, including two partners, who practiced education law at Brock, Clay, Calhoun & Rogers LLC has joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in its Atlanta office.

Led by D. Glenn Brock, the group represents public school districts and education professionals in matters including drafting and oversight of legislation, policy, accreditation issues and litigation on constitutional matters, the firm said in a statement.

With their departure, their old firm has been renamed Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun & Rogers LLC.

Brock has focused on school district representation, serving as outside general counsel to superintendents, school boards, and administrators over the last 25 years. He also has been counsel to the Georgia Department of Education, the firm said.

The group will work with a Nelson Mullins affiliate, EducationCounsel LLC in Washington, which provides clients with birth-to-postsecondary policy, legal, strategic planning, and advocacy services, the firm said.

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, who held the position from 1993 to 2001, is currently senior counsel in EducationCounsel LLC, which is affiliated with the law firm.

“This group’s experience in working with school districts will complement the policy and practice focus of EducationCounsel and vice versa,” Riley said in a statement. “These teams of thought leaders and practitioners are excited about their ability to work together to help education leaders pursue their important work of providing a high quality education for all students.”

Nelson Mullins has more than 470 attorneys and government relations professionals practicing in 13 U.S. offices.

Thompson & Knight Absorbs Ongaro Firm in San Francisco

Thompson & Knight LLP established a second California office in San Francisco with the addition of seven attorneys and other staff from the Ongaro Law Firm.

The office will be led by San Francisco litigator David R. Ongaro and will remain in its current location.

The new office will focus on commercial litigation, particularly in matters involving products liability and labor and employment, the firm said.

Thompson & Knight opened a Los Angeles office in October 2012. The firm has about 330 lawyers at 12 offices in the U.S., North Africa and Europe.

Minter Ellison Names Two Partners to Leadership Roles

Minter Ellison named partner Pamela Jack the new head of the firm’s construction practice division. Partner Andrew Rentoul will be the new infrastructure industry group leader, the firm said.

Both roles were previously held by Brisbane-based Ian Briggs, who has taken a year’s leave to work with a major client, the firm said.

The firm’s construction practice division has 20 partners and more than 75 lawyers across Australia and Asia. Jack has more than 30 years’ experience.

Rentoul specializes in sector-related mergers and acquisitions, privatization and concession arrangements, project structures and infrastructure development.

Minter Ellison has 15 offices in Australia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Mongolia, New Zealand and the U.K.


Laterals Hire Wrap-Up: Schiff Hardin, K&L Gates, SNR Denton

Schiff Hardin LLP hired three partners in Washington and Philadelphia to the firm’s corporate and securities group from Cozen O’Connor.

Ralph V. De Martino, a former chairman of Cozen’s global securities practice group, and F. Alec Orudjev, will be based in Washington. Cavas S. Pavri will work in both Washington and Philadelphia.

In addition to their domestic corporate and securities work, the three men have experience providing Chinese clients with counsel on transactional, regulatory and litigation matters, the firm said.

Since the beginning of the year, Schiff Hardin has hired, about 25 lateral attorneys across six U.S. offices and seven practice groups.

Also in Washington, Gary D. Anderson joined King & Spalding LLP as a partner in the business litigation practice in Washington. He was a partner at Baker Hostetler LLP. Anderson’s experience representing clients in commercial litigation and white-collar matters, has included advising Honeywell International Inc. in a claim involving Boston’s “Big Dig” project, and representation of Aon Corp. in an investigation by the New York attorney general’s office into the insurance brokerage industry and the industry’s placement practices, the firm said.

In Philadelphia, Wisler Pearlstine LLP announced that zoning and land-use lawyer Edward F. Murphy is joining the firm as a partner. Murphy’s addition will enable the firm to open a Newtown, Pennsylvania, office, which will be the firm’s base of operations for Bucks County and the Lehigh Valley. He has practiced zoning and land-use law as a partner with McBride & Murphy for more than 30 years, the firm said.

Cooley LLP announced that Michael R. Faber has joined the firm as a partner in its tax practice. Faber, who will be based in the New York office, joins the firm from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC, where he focused his practice on mergers and acquisitions, as well as general corporate and partnership tax matters.

Laura McBride has joined Ulmer & Berne LLP as a partner in the firm’s litigation department in Cleveland. She will co-head the firm’s energy, natural resources and utilities practice group. She was previously at Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP.

Jackson Lewis LLP hired Karen M. Morinelli as a partner in the firm’s newly opened Tampa office. Morinelli joins Jackson Lewis from Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC.

K&L Gates LLP hired corporate and securities partner David Johnson and commercial disputes partner Samuel C. S. Ngo in the firm’s Hong Kong office. Johnson arrives at K&L Gates from Allen & Overy LLP, while Ngo joins from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Johnson advises corporate and sovereign issuers and underwriters across the Asia-Pacific region on public and private equity and debt financings and other corporate transactions.

Ngo represents PRC- and Hong Kong-listed companies, property developers, and others on a variety of complex commercial litigation and arbitration matters, the firm said.

The firm also hired Steven C. Sparling and David L. Wochner as partners in the firm’s energy practice, from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

Sparling counsels clients on the legal, operational, and commercial aspects of the liquefied natural gas industry. He will practice out of the Washington and Houston offices.

Wochner, who will be based in Washington, concentrates his practice on LNG and natural gas regulatory, policy, and transactional matters including exports, unconventional production, and pipeline transportation issues.

SNR Denton LLP announced that Megan Delany has joined the firm’s Washington, office as a principal in the telecommunications and technology policy practice. She was previously at General Communication, Inc, where she was Vice President, Governmental Affairs and Counsel.


Sequestration Hits Justice System as Courts Keep Bankers’ Hours

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn will no longer be holding his usual hearings after hours in his Manhattan courtroom because of the billions of dollars in congressionally mandated federal spending cuts that took effect this month.

“As long as sequestration lasts, 5 p.m. will be the stop time,” Glenn told lawyers for Residential Capital LLC, the bankrupt mortgage company, the afternoon of Feb. 28.

Companies in bankruptcy often keep courts open late seeking approval to continue operating, pay employees or settle creditor disputes. Debtors and creditors may have to wait longer, now that Glenn and his colleagues are facing their own financial squeeze. Alongside the courts, law enforcement agencies and other components of the U.S. justice system are anticipating shortages of staff, security, and even paper.

Congress mandated $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts over nine years, including $85 billion over the next seven months, as part of a 2011 deal to increase the U.S. debt limit. For the federal judiciary this year, sequestration will require cutting $332 million, about 5 percent of its current $6.97 billion budget.

A four-page directive by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts that took effect March 1 put in place so-called emergency measures throughout the federal court system. They include possible suspension of civil jury trials during September, deferring payments to court-appointed lawyers for two weeks and reducing court security 25 hours to 1,933 hours per officer.

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Survey Says 78% of Law Schools Ignore ABA Standards

Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia looks at a recent report from nonprofit group Law School Transparency finding that 78 percent of American law schools have ignored new ABA standards on providing consumers with accurate information.

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